Reflections on Firsts and Lasts

Silence is descending on the campground. It is dusk, the lamp post a few spots down has just come on, illuminating the trunk of a tall pine tree. Quiet time is still over an hour away but aside from the occasional laughter of children up by the volleyball net the stillness is welcome and relaxing. The contrast with the windswept prairie that we left last Friday is startling.

We departed the windswept prairie the morning after my last day at Raytheon. It was a welcome event in many respects. Finishing up the J.O.B. and leaving the campground at Buckley AFB…which had become a bit tedious after three weeks. It is a newer facility (year old) as far as campgrounds go but the constant wind and the repetitive drone of the Blackhawk helicopter got to be wearisome. For some odd reason the pilots would fly around in circles from early evening till 10pm and their orbit brought them right over the campground each time. Some sort of training mission I suppose but not sure of the purpose.

We didn’t really mind the F-16s even though they made a heck of a lot more noise because they generally left the area after taking off. Then there was the occasional transport aircraft heading out.

A transport plane lifts off from the adjacent runway
A transport plane lifts off from the adjacent runway

Arrival at the Air Force Academy campground was a refreshing moment. It felt really good to be back in our old stomping grounds, in the foothills with Pikes Peak in the background. We got checked in (super friendly staff) and found our campsite nestled in the pine forest. We got the trailer unhitched and leveled out and proceeded to “make camp” which has taken on a new twist.

We’ve had plenty of tasks to keep us busy here in the Springs as we finish up our purging and last minute acquisitions before we hit the road. We stopped into New Life Church on Sunday evening for the service and had an epiphany. It was a great service with awesome worship and the message was very poignant to us in this time of new beginnings and trusting God. As we walked out of the parking lot and looked at the mountains we reflected on that moment some ten years ago when we walked out of a New Life service into the same parking lot and realized that, even though we were heading “home” to Iowa, we knew we were coming back here to establish a new “home” as the Lord directed. It seems like an appropriate place to launch out into the next chapter.

Camping at the Air Force Academy campground
Camping at the Air Force Academy campground
This week has seen the arrival of several major wildfires here in Colorado. The largest, and record-breaking one, is right here in Black Forest (a Northern part of the Springs) a bit to the East of us. It is a terrible tragedy with over 360 homes destroyed, so far, and over 38,000 people affected by the fire (5PM figures). The heat and wind have been relentless over the past several days and the fire has expanded to over 15,700 acres. Although the main campground here is full up there have been a couple dozen evacuees bringing in their trailers and RVs to dry camp in adjoining fields. We have been very fortunate that we have not been adversely affected where we are. The wind has been out of the South predominantly. This morning was moderate but blew north to Denver and we stayed clear most of the rest of the day.

For us, today was spent mostly at our storage unit as we re-packed it. It had gotten ridiculous after three or four trips to drop stuff off and we are much happier with its condition now. We also were able to pick up the king pin extension I bought for the trailer so it will have more turning clearance when hitched to the truck. The unit gains us ten inches and was suppose to bolt up to the existing pin box but alas, there was not quite enough room on the base of the unit to accommodate the bolting pattern. I had to take it in to a shop and get it welded. It was a beastly thing to get put back on (Heavy!) but using the tailgate as a platform, the truck jack, and a friendly neighbor named Ray, we were able to get it up and bolted back in place.

The Jeep sold yesterday. Both of hated to see it go as both of our Jeeps have been great vehicles providing us with lots of good memories but the new owner (young Marine) promised to give her lots more adventure and shared about how he was going to modify her style a bit before playing in her. It was the last major thing that needed to happen. Only a few more minor loose ends to tie up and we’ll be ready to head out. Monday morning is the target date. So, lasts have now transitioned to firsts. We sure are looking forward to the next series of life events!

2 thoughts on “Reflections on Firsts and Lasts

  1. I’m really glad you two are ok. Love and appreciate you both. Rhonda, read your entry as well. Missing you all. Hugs.

  2. Woo! Sure is exciting..bet you weren’t expecting adventure quite THIS soon but heck, you’re ready! 😉
    Love you both, stay safe out there!

Comments are closed.